There has been an increase in the number of marketers that have shifted away from using external agencies to managing their social media marketing in-house. The value of this decision is based around this growing appreciation for having a brand placing full ownership of their social marketing strategy.
The decision brings upon a handful of pros and cons, of course, which brings us to the purpose of this article: in-house or external?
Costs are often the most cited when it comes to bringing social marketing in-house. Tools readily available already automate a great deal of the social interaction so it has some sense to take that control in-house versus handing it over to others.
The downside of bringing it in-house is that now a company needs to train their employees. They also have to introduce new policies to ensure social media usage is aligned to the brand’s image. By having the work done by an external provider, such as adQuadrant, a company can bypass the tedious process of educating the in-house team and give themselves a chance to start off under the guidance of experts.
The legal aspects of handing over customer data to an external provider can be tricky. A company needs to ensure their customer data is safe from malicious attacks or exploits. By having it in-house they are able to keep the data secured within their own ecosystem. It also allows them to dig into historical data which may not be available to an external provider.
Net security and policies are in place to handle this type of concern. An external provider are under excruciating pressure to ensure customer data is safe which is why they make big investments in security software and services. This means that if the provider is reliable then the data will be secured.
The people a company decides to hire for their in-house team can cause issues. Since social media is such a new thing (with more and more platforms, strategies, tools, and resources hitting the market) it can be difficult to keep everyone up-to-speed and conducting best practices.
When the work is handed to an external provider the job is now in the hands of the professionals. This is their job and it means they have to go above-and-beyond in order to compete in the industry. Companies like adQuadrant also have access to years and years of campaigns and experiences they can pull from to provide new clients a roadmap that’s built on these important best practices.
Brands that are transparent with their intentions and usage of social media are met with great praise by users of the platforms. This is because people want to know someone real is behind the updates and interactions and not just someone hired to fulfil the role. Basically: having people care.
An issue that may arise is that in-house employees may not be full aware of their actions and can lead to negative PR for the brand. Yes, there is that transparency of someone from the brand working the social media interactions but if they go too off the cuff it could harm the business. Handing it to an external company puts the work into the hands of those that have set policies and checks & balances to minimize (or completely eliminate) the chance of these one-off slip ups.
Lastly, a big reason to bring the social marketing in-house is that there’s no better individual(s) to understand the brand than the people behind it. By having the in-house, experienced team from the brand handle the work they are easily able to convey ideas and answer problems that an external provider might not completely understand.
To flip this around – if a company is able to work closely enough with a provider they can, in many ways, integrate their brand into the work. Regular updates, monitoring, and communication can allow an external provider to match the brand image and intentions.
Pros and cons are ever present with social marketing. Some may take the work in-house while others place it into the hands of experts. Get in touch with us at adQuadrant and we will find the perfect solution to your social marketing.